With federal stimulus money mostly spent, the Great Recession is going to hit education hard next school year.
Sisters Elementary will go without a principal. More layoffs loom.
Now, poor leadership at American schools is one of the more significant under-reported stories across the country. Still, doing without a principal does seem a bit drastic.
At Sisters, though, it was either that or lay off two teachers and see classes grow to more than 30 students in split-grade-level classrooms. In fact, teachers may still face layoffs. The Oregon legislature is poised to scuttle the corporate tax increases that voters approved last year which could result in another shortened school year.
It's a scenario to be played out across the region, the state and much of the U.S.
It's what we choose as a nation.
We choose to cut money to education and reward the rich with even bigger tax breaks. Now, some Republicans are talking of slicing the top tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. It was 90 percent in the 1950s, 60 percent in the '60s and '70s, and 40 percent under Reagan. Can anyone connect the dots between tax cuts and deficits?
With teabaggers hyper-ventilating about the budget deficit (they were breathing pretty easy during Bush II's reign or error), Republicans are poised to make "major" cuts by eliminating funding for public broadcasting. Wow, who knew that tea carried such a caffeine kick.
Teabagging Republicans believe that teachers are overpaid, have it too easy with summers off and have benefits that much of the private sector no longer enjoys.
Some right-wing newspaper pundits believe that if teachers made less and less every year along with diminishing benefits, we wouldn't be in the budget mess that we're presently in. Of course, teachers have been taking pay cuts throughout the past decade, their insurance premium out-of-pocket expense is now 20 percent and their workload has increased.
That's not enough to the anti-union malcontents. To them, if the pay for teaching gets low enough, perhaps more people won't become teachers and we can all return to home-schooling our kids. If it was good enough for our Founding Fathers (there were no mothers, apparently), then, by god, it's good enough for us.
The goal is to diminish the livelihoods of all working-class Americans. Not too long ago, the goal was to raise the standard of living for everyone. Evidently, teachers are living too high on the hog and it's time to sell that old Subaru.
Even as we de-fund public education, though, the national debt won't diminish because the millions of students who can't afford college will make less money in the workplace.
Gee, maybe we should just skip education altogether and bring back child labor. Maybe then we could import jobs back to America for the pre-teen set and knock a few bucks off our trillions in debt.
Call it a tea for all.